|Could this be Peter MacKay?|
Such research will mean little to the Conservative government, which has already proven on a number of occasions that evidence-based research plays little role in its decision-making. But it's at least a branch to cling to for the rest of us in the coming storm around Bill C-36, which will set Canada back to the dark ages around sex work if it becomes law by criminalizing even more aspects of the work despite all evidence that criminalization doesn't work for anyone.
I know how emotional this issue can be for people. I know how much people absolutely despise even thinking about the sex industry, having lived 10 years now of trying to talk about the realities of the industry and finding only a handful of people who want to hear about any of it. But for Canadians to stand back and let Peter MacKay and the federal government do this terrible thing - well, I just have to hope we can open our minds just a little to think differently about the people who work in this industry, regardless of our preconceptions.
Bookmark the "Understanding Sex Work" page, which is already a great source of unbiased information on a profoundly misunderstood industry. For reasons I don't understand, we prefer to believe that all sex workers are forced into the business and are waiting to be rescued, and that all it's going to take is for Canada to get tough on "perverts" and pimps. The truth is that 80 per cent of the sex workers in this latest research said they chose to work in the industry.
They are workers. They need standard work regulations, and access to all the resources the rest of us have to deal with the occasional exploitive, violent bosses or customers. They need support, not rescue. They need empathy, not these endless attempts to render them powerless, demoralized victims in the hands of horrible and violent men.
The highest court in our land struck down the previous laws around prostitution, most of which we'd had for 150 years. Bill C-36 is no solution. It's a giant step backwards, and a truly heartbreaking development for those who understand sex work.